A Girl’s Love Letter to the First Man She Loved

Dear Daddy,

You are my first ever long distance relationship. When I was younger, I thought I’m lacking something I should have. But I realized I’m having it differently but not less. It may not be as pleasing as the world would perceive it, but it’s something only I can have. We spent most of our lives apart, but it never holds you back from being a dad to me and a good one for that matter. You never fail to let me feel that I am the apple of your eyes. You never missed a chance to share your wisdom.

They say that a dad is every boy’s first hero and every girl’s first love. I guess it’s true. Even before you see me, you have loved me with all your heart. Your desire is to take care of me, protect me, provide a bright future ahead of me, and to see me grow into a fine woman. You have so much in store for me and can’t wait to unfold what’s waiting for every season of my life.

There was a time when we fought a lot. That was when my stubbornness is starting to mature. You became a strict dad who needs to discipline her daughter and me as a rebellious child who wants to have things her way. And it dawned on me that the reason why we have that series of fights is not because we wanted different and opposite things but because we’re very much alike. And when two strong-willed people clashes, dispute begins. But I never won. You were always right and I am not.

Out of the many things you said to me, there is this one thing that I’ll never ever forget: respect. You told me that if I wanted people to respect me, I have to respect myself first because it’ll serve as their basis. At that moment I understood how much I mean to you. You want me to go out into the world to learn the way of life but you want people to see me the way you see me. You want them to respect me the way you do and to see my value defined by you.

You taught me a lot of things and by just looking at your life, I’m learning. I learned to persevere and work hard to achieve my goals, in a decent and fair manner. No shortcuts. Cheating may lead me there faster, but it doesn’t make me more of a person. According to you, investing on superficial beauty won’t lead me to success and will fade in time but character will sustain what I have gained and will never fail to grow as I mature. You told me that life is not always an easy journey but it does not worry you because you know I am strong enough to handle anything (you are my father after all). And you will always be there every step of the way, rain or shine, day in day out.

If I’ll sum up the reason of it all into a word, it would be love. Your unfailing and unconditional love is what makes me the person I am right now. I know you wouldn’t want me to settle for anything less than what I deserve because it would be an insult to someone like you who have given his all just for me. You wouldn’t want me to just give myself away so easily to things or people who will treat me less. So I have lived my life and I will continue living it in a way that brings joy and honor to you. In a few years time I’m going to get married, have kids, and live a new life with my own family, but it will never change one thing: I will always be your little princess.

Not just today, but in every single moment of my life, I will be thankful for everything that you have done. I want you to know that the world may have billions of dads, but there is only one for me: you. I don’t always tell you or maybe I never have but I want you to know that I love you and I always will. We often find it hard to say not because of self-consciousness or sappiness of it; it’s because most of the time, words aren’t enough to express how we feel. However our actions usually speak for ourselves. And we understood. And we knew.

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